Wednesday, August 31, 2005

If government is business, where does that leave business?

Local Liberals seem to have the same press conference coaches, employing the same enthusiastic euphemism "business" for forced expropriation and redistribution.

  • Joe Fontana, London North-Centre MP, August 31, 2005:"We're back in the business of housing."
  • Chris Bentley, London West MPP, August 17, 2005:"We're back in the grants business."
According to the London Free Press, federal Housing Minister and London North-Centre Liberal MP Joe Fontana was in London today to hone his image as defender of the poor by announcing"$13 million to help London families struggling to keep a roof over their heads."
It's part of a $402-million announcement by Fontana in Toronto to start getting affordable housing money flowing to 47 Ontario centres under a federal-provincial program. Seven Southwestern Ontario municipalities, including London, will share more than $23 million for 265 new affordable housing units and for 390 rent supplements. The money is available for new housing projects and soon will be in the form of $150-a-month supplements for housing units that are now vacant. For London, 145 new units will be funded for $10.15 million and supplements for 210 units will amount to another $2.9 million.
Perhaps forgetting the Liberal principle of egalitarianism, Fontana neglected to announce funding to help London families struggling to keep roofs over other families' heads. Does the principle of redistribution trump that of egalitarianism? Or is it simply that the principle of opportunism with other people's money trumps every other principle? Unfortunately, the Free Press spares Fontana and the reader of these considerations…

… but does not spare us the rapacious insatiateness of housing activist and ward 7 councillor Susan Eagle:
[…] she has some concerns, such as fears the modest $150 rent supplement that won't rise in the next five years. She's also concerned that to qualify, families will have to leave where they live to move into eligible units. […] As for the supplements, she called them shallow.
Oh well, it will just have to do for the time being until every Londoner is penned in one of her constituent housing blocks. Until then, if you aren't one of the subsidized, you won't have any of her sympathy.

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Alan Greenspan on the gold standard

Included in Ayn Rand's book "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal", and now available online, Alan Greenspan's Gold and Economic Freedom.

Money is the common denominator of all economic transactions. It is that commodity which serves as a medium of exchange, is universally acceptable to all participants in an exchange economy as payment for their goods or services, and can, therefore, be used as a standard of market value and as a store of value, i.e., as a means of saving.

The existence of such a commodity is a precondition of a division of labor economy. If men did not have some commodity of objective value which was generally acceptable as money, they would have to resort to primitive barter or be forced to live on self-sufficient farms and forgo the inestimable advantages of specialization. If men had no means to store value, i.e., to save, neither long-range planning nor exchange would be possible.

[..] Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy's tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset. But government bonds are not backed by tangible wealth, only by the government's promise to pay out of future tax revenues, and cannot easily be absorbed by the financial markets. A large volume of new government bonds can be sold to the public only at progressively higher interest rates. Thus, government deficit spending under a gold standard is severely limited. The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. They have created paper reserves in the form of government bonds which -- through a complex series of steps -- the banks accept in place of tangible assets and treat as if they were an actual deposit, i.e., as the equivalent of what was formerly a deposit of gold. The holder of a government bond or of a bank deposit created by paper reserves believes that he has a valid claim on a real asset. But the fact is that there are now more claims outstanding than real assets. The law of supply and demand is not to be conned. As the supply of money (of claims) increases relative to the supply of tangible assets in the economy, prices must eventually rise. Thus the earnings saved by the productive members of the society lose value in terms of goods. When the economy's books are finally balanced, one finds that this loss in value represents the goods purchased by the government for welfare or other purposes with the money proceeds of the government bonds financed by bank credit expansion.

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.
HT: Samizdata via Billy Beck.

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Assorted Wanderings Through a Decaying Forest

You should be eating butter anyways

The controversy over the colour of margarine in Quebec turns brown. I stick to my initial assessment of the situation and reiterate my previous comment: citizens in Quebec are apparently too stupid to read labels. The 'logical' answer in a statist culture is for the central government to force compliance according to the flavour of the day.

An interprovincial panel has determined that Quebec must open its borders to butter-coloured margarine by Sept. 1, a ruling that will apparently end one of Canada's most enduring ... internal trade disputes.

.... The June 23 ruling made public Monday, found Quebec's ban on butter-coloured margarine “impaired and caused injury to margarine producers and their upstream suppliers,” and is expected to end a trade dispute traceable to the 19th century, when margarine was banned entirely in Canada.
The Eclectic Econoclast also wades into the simulated zone.

Too many noxious fumes from all those barbeques

A private clinic is to open for cancer patients in Ontario, and the bloodhounds completely miss the point in their quest for the sanction of the mindless. Jay Jardine provides a summation of the situation:
Instead of pointing out the immorality of the Future of Medicare Act of 2004, and encouraging even more flouting of this so-called Law, the Conservatives are content to wind up the mob with charges of Liberal "hypocrisy". This intellectual cowardice is on display with just about any issue you could care to follow.
Six decades later...

Sorry we killed you, say members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles.

More windfalls for lawyers

With same sex marriage comes same sex adultery.

God likened to man-made wars

From The Guardian:
``I can only imagine that this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years ago,'' said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour after touring the destruction by air Tuesday.
And Colby Cosh on Hurricane Katrina:
. . . the global-warming crowd has, according to Glenn Reynolds, come out on cue to blame climate change for Hurricane Katrina. Ironically, if this premise is accepted, it can easily be turned on its head by the Lomborgians as a powerful demonstration that industrial democracies should be reducing their structural vulnerability to the effects of climate change rather than taking futile symbolic actions to prevent it. Did New Orleans do enough to prepare for a disaster that was more or less inevitable (and acknowledged as such even under formerly existing climatic conditions)? The way the Louisiana highway system was re-engineered on the fly to permit car owners to flee was an extremely impressive display of American genius. However, it is hard to deny that many of the poor were "left to drown" under the emergency arrangements. And yet again, it's equally hard to imagine a more practical way to provide for them than the one New Orleans was forced to adopt in extremis--namely, throwing open the doors of the Superdome and hoping that it wouldn't be totally destroyed by the storm. I speak here as someone too broke to own a car: should there be buses on standby for 30,000 people like me throughout the summer in New Orleans?

However these debates turn out, there is likely to be more attention paid to the wisdom of public policy that persuades people to live in areas that are certain to be flattened or washed away every 20-60 years or so.

[..] I admit that New Orleans has a long history, and that this point may be more applicable to Gulfport or Biloxi. There will be overwhelming public sentiment in favour of rebuilding New Orleans exactly as it was before it went completely to hell. But my sense is that the city didn't catch an unlucky break on Tuesday; it caught some ordinary luck after decades of the exceedingly good kind.

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Adrienne Clarkson awaits reciprocation by Possum Lodge

According to the CBC, Red Green will be named to the Order of Canada by Adrienne Clarkson as a consolation prize for being passed over for the position of Governor General, despite his CBC credentials.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service.
Despite the ambiguity of nationality in his show, Mr. Green's contributions to home repair and public rhetoric are expected to come in handy at Parliament Hill.

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"Guns, chaos, regulations…"

Under the impression that demands for their services, such as they can be said to exist, include the charge of guiding the actions of individuals who, for good or bad, operate with different aims or under different values, municipal politicians are typically unable to do more than issue media-friendly civic disapprovals of unsocial activities like gun violence where the regulatory and punitive facilities lie outside their jurisdictions. This usually results in no more than wasted newsprint and reporters' time.

And at least in London, the requisite banalities of mayor Anne Marie DeCicco are no more than uninteresting and uninformative:

There are too many weapons on London streets, Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco warned the police services board[…]
Unfortunately for the citizens of Toronto, the banalities of mayor David Miller suggest something else:
“If you're arrested for possession of an illegal gun, you should be treated exactly the same way” as if the weapon were used, he said.

“There's only one reason to have an illegal gun, it's to shoot people.”
Do you think, David Miller? With this kind of apparatchik lack of imagination, regulatory infractions — for example, not abiding by the gun registry — would achieve the status of crimes. I could hope that the mayor of Toronto look to Anne Marie DeCicco for inspiration and confine his attempts to appear to be doing something to mouthing impotent opprobriums.

David Miller quote via Jay Jardine.

Update: From Jerry Aldini:
Toronto Mayor David Miller mused a couple of weeks ago that law-abiding gun owners should be forced to store their firearms in a central depot. I wonder if Torontonians are more, or less, enthusiastic about this idea after watching TV the past few days?

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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wonderland Gardens burns down

It is no more
London's too poor

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So long abandoned gardens

© 2005 Mike Hensen London Free Press

Tears were not enough...

Fire, the element associated with Hades, becomes impatient with heritage activists and city council here in London Ontario. Wonderland Gardens burns to the ground:
A massive fire ripped through London's historic Wonderland Gardens yesterday, destroying the storied dance hall and casting the site's future into doubt.

It took dozens of firefighters and thousands of gallons of water to tame the noon-hour blaze, which reduced the main building to rubble and sent plumes of thick black smoke swirling toward the sky.

Fire officials investigating the blaze with the Ontario Fire Marshal's office were unsure what sparked the blaze, but said the historic hall suffered more than $500,000 damage.
Thanks to Fire, Londoners will likely be asked to dish out more money to preserve the burned up site, despite the fact the site was insured. Taxpayers can only hope the city fulfilled the terms of their policy:
While some onlookers charged the city didn't properly maintain the aging structure, city staff defended their security and maintenance.

[..] City staff said yesterday the site is checked twice daily by security and at least once a week by maintenance staff.

Mike Andryc, the facility's operations manager, was in the hall a little more than an hour before it burned down.

Andryc, who said a security alarm was triggered in the building last night, said he arrived at the hall shortly before 11 a.m. to turn on exhaust fans for ventilation.

"I was going to come back later to turn them off, but I didn't get the chance," he said, adding the fire was well under way when he returned.

Fire Chief John Kobarda said it's unclear whether the ventilation system had anything to do with the fire.

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Up in smoke

Fare thee well.

Well, the wisepersons didn't know what to do with this hold-over from simpler times, so the gods made a decision for us. Even Deep Purple shunned it last time through London, despite its illustrous past, choosing to play the JLC rather than insisting upon cramming their aging nostalgia crazed fans into this old relic.
Ironically, I was listening to the Jim Chapman Show the other day and this anachronism was being held up as an example of a building whose future was in doubt because restrictive modern building codes, which came into effect once it was out of the hands of the original family operators. Last year the Free Press reported that the city would have to

Spend about $2.5 million to restore the buildings to code and make repairs to uneven floors, the roof, fire and safety systems, mechanical systems in the kitchen and ballroom and the electrical system.
Of course, no one wanted to take the blame for demolishing the impractical building so Athene, seeing mortals bound by their own foolishness, decided to push the place toward its fate.

Chances of restoring the pavilion to its former glory seemed to fade as flames consumed the ballroom.

. . .

Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco, who surveyed the "significant" wreckage, said it's unclear if the blaze will affect two private redevelopment proposals before the city.

"Whatever is left (of the building), we will have to take that into consideration for our future plans," she said. "It's going to change things to a certain degree."

What's playin' at the JLC?

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Handcuff me, I am Canadian!

I don't go and gamble away my paycheque every week, but some other fool does and that is somehow my problem.
In three years, Paul Burrell gambled away nearly $500,000 of his life-savings at Casino Nova Scotia.

Yet the former Cape Breton coal miner says he was never once approached by staff at the casino in Sydney, N.S., even though provincial law requires them to bar problem gamblers from the premises.

Day after day, week after week, between January 2000 and February 2003, he sat in front of the slot machines at the casino, where the staff let him keep on playing and losing, even though it was clear he was addicted.

He later lodged a complaint with the Nova Scotia Alcohol and Gaming Authority, the agency that enforces the casino regulations, but it was dismissed.

Burrell's banking machine receipts show he gambled away a $200,000 worker's compensation settlement, family savings of $80,000 and roughly $200,000 from his remortgaged house and personal loans.

"I was in a situation where this destroyed me," Burrell said in an interview. "I didn't like what I had become. I only started coming back into myself when I realized this wasn't all my fault."

[..] In what he considers an ironic twist, Burrell says he was barred from the casino in February 2004, but only after he laid the complaint with the provincial government.

The casino failed in its duty to him, he says.

[..] The province's Environment and Labour Department, which oversees the gaming authority, also admitted inspectors and casino staff have little to guide them, other than the American Medical Association definition of a problem gambler.

However, the association's 10-point list for evaluating potential addicts is next to useless to anyone but the gambler because many of the questions are extremely personal in nature.

That means the province expects problem gamblers to identify themselves to casino staff.
I am a loser so the rest of you have a duty to support my incompetence.

HT: Neale News

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Ontario Select Committee on Electoral Reform

Like the federal Liberal Party's "Elections Canada" front organization, Elections Ontario exists to protect the three incumbent socialist parties, the Liberals, PCs, and NDP, from competition. Elections Ontario implements its mandate by imposing busywork and inane regulation on all parties. The theory is that smaller parties have a smaller budget and fewer volunteers and can be encouraged to just give up their vote-splitting ways if they can be sufficiently tied up in layers of red tape. The red tape is, comparatively speaking, no hindrance to the socialist Parties that are already able to swing favours on a large scale with other people's money.

By wasting the limited time and resources of the opposition, so as to keep them limited, Elections Ontario helps to facilitate the uninterrupted reign of the Party of Parties as they join hands to loot Ontario and fuck over its inhabitants.

One might expect, then, that a Select Task Force on Electoral Reform would be Orwellian enough to take care not to involve all of Ontario's registered parties, including the uniquely sane Freedom Party of Ontario.

We present the following exchange of three emails, over the past three days, between Paul McKeever of Freedom Party and a Select Committee representative. All emphasis as in the originals.

From: Paul McKeever
Sent: August 27, 2005 2:05 PM
To: Di Cocco_Caroline-MPP
Subject: URGENT - Exclusion of Freedom Party of Ontario from hearings of Select Committee on Electoral Reform

Madam Chair:

Re: Inclusion of Freedom Party of Ontario in Hearings of the Select Committee on Electoral Reform

It has come to our attention that a Select Committee on Electoral Reform will hold hearings on August 31 and September 1, 2005. It is our understanding that only one political party not represented in the Ontario Legislature (in particular, the Green Party of Ontario) has been called upon to testify.

We find it contrary to the spirit of this government's entire Electoral Reform process that Freedom Party of Ontario (and, presumably, Ontario's other registered political parties) were sent no notice:

(a) that the Select Committee had scheduled hearings; or

(b) that the Select Committee was interested in hearing the opinions of Ontario's other registered political parties.

That Freedom Party of Ontario ("FPO") was not so notified is particularly troubling given that:

* I had, prior even to the formation of the Select Committee, inquired with the Attorney General as to progress, if any, that had been made in terms of electoral reform. The Attorney General's written response gave the impression that things were still rather preliminary, little having happened other than the introduction of legislation to facilitate the consideration of electoral reform.

* Freedom Party of Ontario has been in regular attendance at Elections Ontario's Political Party Advisory Committee meetings since that Committee's inception years ago (I am perhaps its most consistently in-attendance participant).

* I have been on the mailing list of the Democratic Renewal Secretariat since early in the year. Despite that fact, I have received not a single e-mail from that body concerning any aspect of electoral reform (in fact, I have not received any e-mail from that body at all).

I recognize that an Agenda has already been set for the Select Committee's hearings this week. Nonetheless, given that FPO received no notice from the Select Committee, FPO hereby requests that the Agenda be amended and that FPO be given the opportunity to make submissions at the hearings of the Select Committee that are to be held this week.

In anticipation of a response that time does not permit the Select Committee to hear from FPO, I would quote from Hansard the minutes of July 27, 2005 hearing of the Select Committee:
"The Chair: OK. August 30 and 31, and September 1 and 2. We'll block off those four days and we will fit in there experts on the current system to come before us. Is that fair?

Mr. Patten: Yes.

The Chair: OK. So that's done.

Mr. Miller: The four days, again, are the 30th and 31st, and the 1st and 2nd.

The Chair: We may be able to do that in two or three days rather than all four, but I want the four days blocked off, that's all. I think it would be prudent for us to do that. OK?"
We would consider a denial of Freedom Party of Ontario's request to evidence of a prejudiced process. The electoral reform issue is one that could affect Ontarians and Ontario's political parties in a dramatic way. There are only six registered political parties with no members in the Legislature. They differ quite dramatically in their positions on electoral reform.

Moreover, like the parties having members in the Legislature (and representation in the Select Committee), the 6 parties having no members in the Legislature each have gone through the hoops of registering and making regular elections finances filings. We are paying our dues: it should not be too much to ask to be included on hearings on something so fundamental as electoral reform. Notifying those 6 parties of the hearings would have cost little more than the price of 6 postage stamps (i.e., $3.00) and (at the very most) 6 hours of hearings. That FPO and the other parties were not given notice of the hearings and called upon to give testimony is utterly unacceptable given the subject matter.

We would ask that the Committee's response to this request be directed in writing via e-mail, promptly, to:

Paul McKeever:


Paul McKeever
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario

Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 4:38 PM
Subject: RE: URGENT - Exclusion of Freedom Party of Ontario from hearings of Select Committee on Electoral Reform

Dear Mr. McKeever, On behalf of Caroline Di Cocco, Chair, Select Committee on Electoral Reform, I would like to thank you for your message.

Your interest in the issue of electoral reform is appreciated and I have put your name on a list of people who would like to appear before the Committee. The Committee is in the preliminary stages of its review and may well schedule additional days of hearings, although it has not had a chance at this point to make those plans.

I will distribute your email to the Committee members for their information and so that they are aware of your wish to appear. You are also welcome to make a written submission at any time. I will distribute anything I receive to all Committee members for their information and you can ensure that your views are known to them.

Thank you again for your letter.

Anne Stokes
Clerk of the Committee
Select Committee on Electoral Reform
Room 1405, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A2
Phone: 416-325-3515
Fax: 416-325-3505

From: Paul McKeever
To: Anne Stokes

Dear Ms. Stokes,

I thank you for your response. However, adding my name to a list of parties that would "like" to attend hearings of the Select Committee on Electoral Reform - possibly, at some time, maybe, in the future - is not a suitable and satisfactory response to my request.

According to Hansard from July 27, which I quoted in my letter to the Chair, four days have been already been blocked off for hearings: Tuesday through Friday of this week. Contrary to your statement, it is not the case that the Select Committee "has not had a chance at this point to make those plans". It needs only to schedule additional hours of hearings in the days already allotted: Friday, for example, is entirely free.

You have suggested that I make a submission in writing. I note the obvious: that all of the witnesses who have been scheduled to testify this week could simply have made written submissions. They were asked to attend not because they lack writing skills, but because the Committee values (or wants to appear to value) their opinions, and wants to ask them questions. Not inviting Ontario's five remaining registered political parties implies the opposite, loudly and clearly: the Committee does not value their opinions and does not care to ask them any questions. That implication is compounded by your response to me (and it should be noted that I asked for a response from the Chair: may I take your response as being hers?).

I would ask the Select Committee to remember that this exercise - which is quickly beginning to show the signs of being a farce - is being sold to the electorate as a response to disproportionality between the popular vote received by parties and the number of seats allocated to each. How on Earth does the Select Committee hope to appear credible and unbiased if it demonstrates a lack of concern for the opinions of those most negatively impacted by the current voting system: the so-far uninvited political parties and those who voted for them?

To the Chair: I await a timely answer to my question: will the Select Committee schedule Freedom Party (and any of the other four registered political parties who have been excluded from the hearings so far) to be heard in hearings during the four days already blocked off this week? Please note that I will share your response with the media, Ontario's registered political parties, and Ontario's other MPPs.


Paul McKeever
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario

c.c., Ontario's MPPs, radio, TV, and print newsmedia, and leaders of the Libertarian Party of Ontario, the Communist Party of Ontario, the Confederation of Regions Party of Ontario, and the Family Coalition Party of Ontario, respectively.

End of quoted emails.

So will the Committee prove me wrong and allow Freedom Party, the Libertarians, the CoR party, the FCP, and even the goddamned Communists to participate in this "electoral reform"? Or is this one more tightening of Party control over our elections?

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Responses II Questionnaire II

We've been getting to know our readership better with our little questionnaire. The mighty GotCH was kind enough to respond, too.

Here are two of the best of some recent emailed answers from the far-flung outlands of Canada. This first one is from Dwight Arnold of Newfoundland:

1. What do you think about the embodiment of Party ideas into our life?

I am a hereditary fisherman, all my ancestors were in fishing for a living. Quite recently -- some 30 years ago -- the life of a Newfoundland fisherman was quite different from what it is now. When the sea was rough, we kids were frantic with worry for our father who was out fishing -- the boats used by them were frail and full of holes. The only owner of a motor boat in our village was considered lucky.

And not we feel quite at ease even when the wind is at force eight -- and this is not only due to technological progress. Our coop purchased a trawler. Having joined together as Canadians, Newfoundland fishermen began to earn good money and moved to multi-story urban-type houses. On their ships they sail not only the Bay of Fundy, but also the Atlantic. This is what Party ideas on cooperation mean in reality.
2. What features of Paul Martin's personality and his style of work appeal to you most?
Judging by numerous Canadian Press reports, Paul Martin can promptly find his bearing in a complex situation, take the solely correct decision and influence his comrades-in-arms by his iron logic. These features of Paul Martin have always appealed to me. I value such intellectual qualities very highly and I would like to cultivate them in myself.
3. How often do you read the "Globe and Mail" news-paper, watch or listen to CBC News broadcasts, and/or consume other Party-oriented news media, and on what occasions?
I have only a general eight-year education and find it rather difficult to read the Globe and Mail yet. Although the style is clear-cut and lucid, the philosophical and economic notions they use are hard for me to grasp. I continue to watch CTV in the evenings and attend a circle of political self-education, in which I give the Toronto Star systematic study.
Continuing to focus on the obscure backwater areas of Canada, we received the following from Gerard Bousum of Quebec.

1. What do you think about the embodiment of Party ideas into our life?
As a writer I value particularly Party ideas on national culture. Quebec has been known for centuries as the home of gifted craftsmen, poets and singers. But that was only one ray of light. A genuine cultural revolution came after social revolution. The Quebecois now have national theatres of drama, opera and ballet, a philharmonic society, music, concert halls, and art schools. The inhabitants of the remotest parts of Quebec visit Houses of Culture, libraries, clubs, and cinemas. Mass culture breeds prominent cultural figures.
2. What features of Paul Martin's personality and his style of work appeal to you most?
What I admire in Paul Martin in the first place is his all-embracing intellect, analytical mind, and titanic capacity for work. If he had not been a statesman, he could have been an outstanding lawyer, economist, historian, or writer.
3. How often do you read the "Globe and Mail" news-paper, watch or listen to CBC News broadcasts, and/or consume other Party-oriented news media, and on what occasions?
I enjoy CBC productions very often -- mostly those featuring literary criticism.
It takes a while to sift through all the responses, but hopefully we'll be able to share more of our readers' Canadian values with you later in the week.

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

You've got to hide your hate away

A jumbo order of poxes on all concerned.

I like the idea that, if ever approached for any kind of succour by the likes of Winnicki, I can google him and find out that he doesn't merit a crust of bread's worth of my kindness.

That's yet another of the merits of free speech, a principle unrespected by antihatemongers who -- like Winnicki -- seek to use violence to silence disagreeable opinions.

In Winnicki's case it's apparently all talk, but the antihatemongers are out there doing it.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Responses to questionnaire

We have received enough responses to our questionnaire to begin printing the best ones. Keep 'em coming! Here's one from Alton Rigby of Hamilton, Ontario:

1. What do you think about the embodiment of Party ideas into our life?

I understand best of all the embodiment of the Party's idea on the equality of rights and opportunities of all the nationalities united into a socialist state. Under Party direction, Ontario has turned from a land of nomads with elements of a slave-owning system into an industrially-developed province with big industrial enterprises, power stations, institutes and research centre. Ontario could not have made such a leap forward outside the unity of Confederation, without the assistance of other peoples of Canada.
2. What features of Paul Martin's personality and his style of work appeal to you most?
I like everything about him!
3. How often do you read the "Globe and Mail" news-paper, watch or listen to CBC News broadcasts, and/or consume other Party-oriented news media, and on what occasions?
Constantly. I am a third year student of sociology at McMaster and I am especially interested in Michaelle Jean's thoughts about the philosophical problems of being.
We also heard from Philippe Nannie, a writer from Kelowna, B.C.

1. What do you think about the embodiment of Party ideas into our life?
The Party's ideological heritage is so multi-faceted that it materialized in most various aspects -- economics, politics, culture. But it is possible to single out a principle which Trudeau followed and which lies at the foundation of our society. That principle is justice. And it is precisely the criterion of justice that should be used to check on how faithfully we follow the Party's line.
* What features of Paul Martin's personality and his style of work appeal to you most?
2. Powerful intellect and emotional generosity. The rare ability of self-analysis, tact and amazing sober-mindedness.
3. How often do you read the "Globe and Mail" news-paper, watch or listen to CBC News broadcasts, and/or consume other Party-oriented news media, and on what occasions?
One of Jeffrey Simpson's ideas is that life goes forward through contradictions, that environment is complex, mosaic and contradictory. Avi Lewis' works are of the biggest help to me when I want to draw on his art of a dialectic, and when I want to grasp a problem in its movement, in all its ties.
Keep 'em coming!

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

What did he do that merits a life sentence?

I admire Marc Emery's entrepreneurial drive, and thank him for channeling it to make millions through open disobedience of a destructive and immoral law. That would be a prohibition law that costs and/or harms everyone but the bureaucracy who get paid to enforce it and the criminals who benefit from huge markups by breaking it.

Former Imperial Tobacco executive Norman Spector wrote in today's Globe on Marc Emery's calling Irwin Cotler a "Nazi Jew". (No permalink outside of the subscriber wall, but there's no need to give the Globe any more ad impressions than strictly necessary anyways. Here's the story if you want.)

When I first heard about it I figured it was shorthand for "Nazi Judicial Independence". Having now read more it looks like the rather ugly construction was meant to highlight Cotler's complicity in destroying Marc Emery (and others who more covertly break these laws) for no reason at all, as the Nazis destroyed Jews for no reason at all.

It has square wheels as an analogy, unless Cotler is a pothead. Surely an N.J. -- I am loath to type it! -- would have to be killing his own people.

Moreover, the key mass extermination element is rather completely missing. Yes, the DEA are a harmful and parasitic organization whose employees profit from suppressing a narcotics trade conducted by criminals who profit from stepping into the breach that the DEA helpfully opens for them in the free market. Yes, as usual with socialist programs premised on the government saving people from the consequences of irresponsibility, the War on Drugs has produced the opposite of its stated intent by ensuring drugs are everywhere. It is an appallingly cynical racket that encourages crime and gets people killed, jailed and ripped off, again, mind you, for no reason. But I don't see any mass extermination in there.

Although the analogy is confused and ugly, I don't see how it can be taken to be antisemitic, since Marc is equating his people with the persecuted Jews. It probably is tasteless to suggest that, without the whole extermination by the millions bit, but then again, I'm not the one about to get a life sentence for no reason at all.

On the other hand, the forum moderator Spector cites is unquestionably an antisemitic moron, on top of being a moron who is an antisemite while being moronically antisemitic. Signed sealed and delivered "CRETIN". Now I wish I'd asked the Prince why he lets that thing shit all over his kingdom like that.

Kate gets some Reefer Madness kicks at something, though I thought Marc was quite clear in his explanation, as grandiose as it may be.

P.S. Nowhere, immer, do I see anyone explaining why Marc should be jailed.

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In our post-Parliamentary age, it is becoming increasingly important for all success-oriented, law-abiding Canadians to be able to understand, integrate, articulate, and embody the vision of the Liberal Party.

To that end, and using the most up to date social scientronic methodologies, we have crafted the following three questions.

  • What do you think about the embodiment of Party ideas into our life?
  • What features of Paul Martin's personality and his style of work appeal to you most?
  • How often do you read the "Globe and Mail" news-paper, watch or listen to CBC News broadcasts, and/or consume other Party-oriented news media, and on what occasions?
We invite you to email us with your answers. We'll republish the most moving replies over the next little while.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tracking the unwilling consumer - Better off collecting welfare in the 21st Century

Or become a gladiator an athelete.

I was not particularly surprised to see that the main newspaper of the junior hockey hair capital of Ontario published the following rot which encourages sympathy with the athletes who are for the time being 'deprived' of more government sacrificial offerings.

Never mind that it is our money that is offered in sponsorship of things not necessarily of our own choosing. It's all about bread and circuses - government approved activities will be rewarded at taxpayer expense because it makes our 'representatives' look good and you have no choice for you will be locked up or shot if you try to run away.

Canada will win gold medals, and our atheletes will be as fine as the Russians!

The federal government has backed off on a proposal to replace Canada's $5 paper currency with a more economical $5 coin and use the savings to help fund the country's Olympic athletes.

The offbeat suggestion, first raised by the Royal Canadian Mint, was taken seriously enough by the Finance Department that it commissioned a polling firm last spring to conduct a focus-group study.

Environics Research held sessions May 3-5 with small groups of Canadians in Halifax, Hamilton and Winnipeg.
In other words, as long as the Finance Department takes a proposal seriously, you're out the funds and just you try to resist citizen!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One year old and already writing essays

There's nothing like settling down of an eve with a glass of good scotch, neat, and Gods of the Copybook Headings. GCH is one year old today, and to celebrate, Publius is using the strange term blogversary… oh, and he's got a fantastic post about why he blogs and, as Kate puts it, a brief history of history:

The impression of many is that bloggers are either unemployed or seriously underemployed, while that is sometimes the case I have felt the compulsion to blog even when by schedule was impossibly tight and no inclination when I had all the time in world. It really is like a compulsion of sorts. Some major crisis happens and you feel a desperate need to tell someone what you think, no matter how unoriginal or uninteresting your thoughts may be, or whether anyone is in fact listening as you talk to yourself. Blogging is kind of like being blind on a city bus talking to yourself. Once in a while someone comes up to you and says, "Dude, your talking to yourself, get help!" Sometimes people come up and say, that's an interesting point, but really what about this...." The former is both an occupational hazard, as far as this is an occupation, and a reality check. The latter is pretty much why I or anyone else blogs. We can all talk to ourselves, the question, and hope is that someone talks back.
For those of you still on summer holidays and wish to spend some (or alot) of that time productively, Publius has also assembled The Very Best of The Gods of the Copybook Headings. I can only surmise it must have been a grueling task sorting through the 874 posts and almost 600,000 words that have gone up on GCH in that past year. I applaud him, I wouldn't have the heart or the fortitude to wade through our archives.
The basic reason I blog, however arrogant this will sound to some, is not only that I want the Old Canada back, I want to continue where it left off. I don't want to reverse the social progress in race and gender relations over the last forty years, which would have come with or without Trudeaupia. I want that old energy and old benevolence that made Canada a beacon undo others. I want to go back to 1967 and extrapolate that line into the future. Not going back to the greatest that we were, but to the greatest we are destined to become.
Thank you for your wishes and your endeavours, and many happy returns to Publius, Brutus and Cassius.

Read the whole thing here

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2 + 2 = ?

The Free Press, taking the Party at face value, which really shouldn't be face value any more to people who presumably are paying attention to what is happening to this country.

The Liberal government's tendency to under-estimate surpluses continues, with news yesterday that a surplus of $4.8 billion has been recorded for the first three months of fiscal year 2005-06. Incredibly, that surpasses Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's projection of $4 billion for the entire year -- with three quarters to go!
As if this was an accident. Obviously this surplus has been engineered as a war chest, so that the Party is well stocked with money and favours to buy the connivance of the morally challenged, as it cements in whatever it has in mind as the replacement of our system of government.

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Door in the face

City staff and their Free Press enablers are priming us once again, to make their unreasonable tax increases (made necessary by that embarassment of a John Labatt Centre) appear reasonable in comparison with threats of very unreasonable tax hikes.

The first step is a set up. The first request is not the true target. Rather it is used to get the receiver in the right frame of mind. The second step is the real target. It is the action the requester really wants you to perform.

Now, if you think about it, you can do this Two Step dance two different ways. The first way is called the door-in-the-face or DITF for short. The second way is called the foot-in-the-door or FITD. Both dances require two steps. Both do a set up on the first step. Both have the real target on the second step. The difference is how step one hits the receiver.
Basic hcksterism primer here.

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Judy Bylaw

Judy Bryant, Judy Bryant… now where have I heard that name before? Oh, yes! With the severe eyes of an aggrieved disciplinarian schoolmarm,

[Ward 1 councillor] Judy Bryant said the government's preliminary proposal to preserve green space in the Golden Horseshoe area should consider London, too. "I very much applaud what the province is doing," said Bryant, a member of London's planning committee." […]Bryant said she'll bring up the issue at the next planning committee meeting, seeking to persuade city council to pressure Queen's Park to include London in the plan.
Not content that only farmers and exurbanites should surrender their goods and pride to her bucolic dystopia, she's got it in for us city-dwellers too. Joe Belanger of the London Free Press reports that Judy Bryant, infused with the recklessness of the visionary and the brash presumption of the local politician, is quite sure that
[t]he Forest City needs a bylaw to protect trees on private property. […] In a letter to planning committee on tonight's agenda, Ward 1 Coun. Judy Bryant says she wants the city to explore passing a bylaw that would make it difficult for landowners to cut mature trees. "Other municipalities have systems where you have to have a permit to take down trees on private property," Bryant said.
Other municipalities don't, and other municipalities have lower property taxes too, but an incumbent councillor in London can afford to pick and choose the gaggling comparisons he or she wishes to be illustrated in the Free Press as substitutes for reason in the pursuit of public policy.

Now, I'm partial to trees myself, so much so that, when the time comes that I own property, I will refuse to allow my enjoyment of them to be sacrificed to Judy Bryant's misanthropic defense of a simple municipal nickname:
Bryant's idea follows recent reports that London may not be able to back its moniker as The Forest City as tree cover may hover as low as 10 per cent. That's a third of the 30 per cent tree coverage experts say, and the province endorses, as healthy for a community.
Most single-dwelling residential properties have canopy coverage over 10 or 30 per cent, so a dismissal of the greenbelt plan Bryant endorses, instead of packing people into higher and higher density warehouses, should prove the simplest and most effective appeasement of the experts' concerns.

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Monday, August 22, 2005

Bylaw city

Joe Belanger, reporter of municipal citizen clamp-down record for the London Free Press, reports that city council plans to up the punitive stakes in the pitbull eradication program in Ontario, abashed that the Liberal provincial government has temporarily pulled ahead in the inter-jurisdictional interventionist race:

Although pit bulls are banned in Ontario as of Aug. 29, people who have them will be allowed to keep their pets, provided they are sterilized, leashed and muzzled.

However, in London the proposed Pit Bull Dog Licensing bylaw headed to city council's environment and transportation committee tonight would also require pit bull owners to pay more for a licence, microchip their dogs and face a $500 fine for most violations. Pit bull owners who don't licence their dogs by year-end risk having them destroyed.

"People can always choose a different breed for a pet," Coun. Fred Tranquilli, chairperson of the committee, said yesterday.
I suppose Tranquilli has a point — people can always choose a different elected representative too, but always seem to fail to do so, in London at least.
Under the proposed bylaw, pit bull owners would have to:
  • Pay a licence fee of $130 annually, compared to the current $25.
  • Pay $25 for a warning sign at the entrance to their property.
  • Pay a first-time administration fee of $25.
  • Provide proof their pit bull is microchipped and sterilized.
  • Purchase $1 million in liability insurance.
Extermination by prohibitive regulatory fees — the kinder and gentler society's final solution:
Committee member Controller Gord Hume defended the new bylaw, but empathized with dog owners. "The provincial legislation very clearly says pit bulls are not welcome in Ontario." Microchipping is necessary so, if something happens, the dog owner can be identified, he said. The extra licensing revenue is needed because the system is going to cost more to administer, Hume added.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Margarine is good enough for Canadians

The war against obesity rages onward in North America. Jerry Aldini points to an article from a July edition of The Chicago Tribune, posted at The Agitator. Some words from a Chicago-area physician:

As an internist caring for more and more morbidly obese people, I am so tired of reading about the feeble attempts of the government and the food industry to address the epidemic of obesity. The only effective way that we will attack this epidemic is for the surgeon general to mandate that, effective immediately, all portions of food served in restaurants and fast-food places be cut by one-half to two- thirds.

Most Americans need about 2,000-2,400 calories a day. So meals should be portioned to contain no more than one-third of those calories per meal. Currently some sandwiches alone contain 1,000 calories or nearly one-half a day's total caloric needs in one meal--and that's without any soda, fries or salad.

I have been very disappointed in the lack of leadership demonstrated by the current surgeon general. Recent studies show that obesity takes its toll on the health of Americans and the health-care budget similar to the complications of smoking.

[..] I am frustrated by having to spend more and more of my time treating the complications of obesity, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and early joint breakdowns. Patients are often upset that I target their obesity as the cause of the problem. Overeating is "their right" and I, as their doctor, should fix the problem. Other patients are frustrated by their inability to lose weight and maintain the loss because they live in a virtual candy store. Everyday life in America is just too tempting to adhere to a diet for any length of time.

I implore the surgeon general to demonstrate some leadership and work with the restaurant and fast-food industry to cut portion sizes by one-half to two-thirds in the interest of effectively addressing the obesity epidemic and protecting the health of the American people.

And Publius, on the shrugging doctors in Canada:
It seems that after forty years the doctors of Canada, to borrow Ayn Rand's phrase, are withdrawing the "sanction of the victim." Sadly they are doing so on the worst possible philosophical grounds; altruistic concern for their patients. While doctors putting their patients ahead of themselves may seem part and parcel of being a doctor, such a belief has nearly destroyed efficient and timely medicine in Canada.

For all the highly sophisticated economic criticisms that have been leveled at socialized health care; they pale in comparison to the most powerful tool the defenders of Medicare have at their disposal, morality. Socialized health care, like socialism and communism, soon proved their impracticability. What maintained those poisonous ideologies in the body politic was their claim to moral superiority over capitalism. Communism and socialism sought to establish a selfless society in which the needs of the group would overwhelm those of the individual. That same logic has been applied to Medicare in Canada.

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Careful what you say…

The Windsor Star:

The federal cabinet will review new legislation this fall that would give police and security agencies vast powers to begin surveillance of the Internet without court authority. The new measures would allow law-enforcement agents to intercept personal e-mails, text messages and possibly even password-secure websites used for purchasing and financial transactions.

Under current law, it is illegal to intercept and open letter mail, but it is unclear whether e-mails are in the same legal category. The Defence Department's Communications Security Establishment has the ability to intercept all telephone communications within Canada and calls across the border, but must obtain ministerial permission to intercept and record telephone calls in which at least one Canadian citizen is involved. And police need court permission to eavesdrop on telephone conversations.
What was wrong with these checks on police powers? Were they an inconvenience?

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Friday, August 19, 2005

"Guns, chaos, death…"

More information, or speculation and description in lieu of information, on the "smash-and-grab mayhem in London" yesterday can be found in today's London Free Press here, here, here and here.

Ian Gillespie of the Free Press suggests that "it's time to get hopping mad" about guns, and suggests "we started imposing mandatory long-term sentences for weapons-related offences." As a deterrent? There are already laws against murder, assault and robbery, with punishment apparently (or so one would think) determined by the severity of the crime. I would suggest that the objectively observed outcome of criminal activity is the most non-arbitrary standard that the justice system can perceive in its deliberation, not the means. Additional considerations such as the weapon used are not only superfluous to the actual crime, they potentially introduce arbitrary and emotional encumbrances to what should be a rational judicial process. For example, the hysteria about guns in this country.

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Municipalities — the new special interest welfare lobby

From the London Free Press:

Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister John Gerretsen rejected a call yesterday from the province's municipalities for an additional $3 billion and said any major transfers are years down the road.
What is to be materially accomplished, as opposed to politically, by such a redistribution of money from one level of government to another? Most provincial revenue comes, directly or indirectly, from the taxes of people or businesses in municipalities, which means that if implemented the redistribution would amount to a great net subsidization of people living within muncipalities by those living without. The political consequences, however, are that the legislative and financial responsibilities of the various levels of government, once delineated in the constitution and in statutes and now overlooked completely, will be further concealed. One of the problems with income and property taxation, apart from the fact it is extorted from people under threat of fine or physical confinement, is that there is no resemblance or discernable connection between what is paid by someone and what they receive. I pay income taxes to the federal government, some of which is transferred to the provincial government, some of which is transferred to the local government, some of which is transferred back to the federal government, and some of which pays for the new water cooler on the fifth floor of city hall. Do politicians really wonder at the disengagement of citizens in the electoral process?

Or do they really care, having completely disengaged themselves from citizens?
"If municipalities aren't part of Ontario's agenda, then municipalities are not going to be very happy," said [Roger] Anderson [president of the Association of Municipalities].
The reflexive use of collective, and anthropomorphizing to boot, terms as agents precludes human agency. Municipalities speak for themselves, I guess somehow by possessing people like Anderson, but not for myself. I should hate to see the money I waste on the provincial government even more eggregiously squandered on propping up a false-front appearance of financial propriety by London city council.

Municipalities shouldn't worry, though, nor their mouthpieces — when the provincial election approaches, Gerretsen will be happy to pay for their appeasement with our money.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Gundon Update

There is no cease-fire in London Ontario. The guns continue to roar as London officials suck more money from the provincial trough in hopes of becoming more like Toronto. I haven't heard of a drive-by shooting yet in London, but we have crazed emulators of Svend Robinson smashing jewerly cases in broad daylight at White Oaks Mall. If the robbers confess that they are suffering from a mental illness, will they be absolved from responsibility?

From the London Free Press:

In view of shoppers at the busy mall in the city's south end, four men walked into Anstett Jewellers -- near the food court -- and smashed jewelry cases with what witnesses said were sledgehammers.

An employee of a nearby store said she saw four people in the jewelry store with sledgehammers.

"They had some hammers and were smashing the hell out of (the cases). As soon as they got through the glass, they ran," she said.

The woman said the robbers fled through the Gap store as one of her colleagues called 911.

"I grabbed the customers and ran in the back (of the store)," she said. "Everything happened really fast. It felt like an hour but it was two to three minutes."

[..] The robbers fled, leading police on a chase that would become deadly.

Witnesses saw a gold Mercedes Benz SUV used as a getaway vehicle on Crawford Street about 2 p.m.

Sandra Vandenberge was in her house when she heard loud bangs she thought were firecrackers.

"I went outside and someone in (the gold SUV) was shooting at a guy behind him in a black truck," she said, adding the shooter was standing through the sunroof holding a long firearm.

Between four and five rapid shots were fired before the shooter ducked back into the SUV, she said.
According to another article from the scare press, the mall was attacked by terrorists:
"It was chaotic," said Mike Hurst, a station manager for Middlesex-London Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

An AK-47 assault rifle -- an underworld and terrorist weapon of choice -- was found at the scene, a source said.

[..] "The guy was hanging out of the sunroof holding a gun," said a horrified Gus Kategiannis, who was on Wharncliffe and quickly realized the gunman had a high-powered weapon.

"I thought it was Iraq," said another witness, Demetrie Adamou.

[..] Tight-lipped police confirmed several shots were fired during the chase, but wouldn't say where along the route, or by whom.

The chase extended down busy streets and through suburban stretches of White Oaks and Lambeth.

Police said they had an undisclosed number of people in custody and were no longer seeking suspects in the heist.

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So this is what it's like to live in the big city…

London is going to lose its reputation as a peaceful quiet city if this year is any indication of the future. In anticipation, my fellow bloggers have coined the affectionate nickname Gundon

©2005 Dave Chidley, London Free Press
From the London Free Press:
A brazen smash-and-grab jewelry heist rained chaos on south London yesterday, leaving two men dead after a gun battle and a high-speed police chase that started at a shopping mall and ended in a dramatic crash.
More description in the absence of details can be seen here, here and here.

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Authoritarian of the week

Although a tough choice considering the weekly swarm of meddling, noxious bureaucrats and statists that pollute our environment, Comrade Michael Decter, head of the Health Council of Canada, is my pick for the London Fog authoritarian of the week. When individual burdens and responsibilities are forcefully transformed into 'collective' burdens, peaceful lifestyle choices -although potentially harmful to the individual, but no one else - cease to be a personal matter. Your fate is in the hands of the benevolent officials who oversee the current five year plan.

A new report draws a direct line between alarming obesity rates and sharp increases in knee and hip replacement surgeries, a finding experts warn should be a wake-up call for Canadians concerned about the health of their joints -- and the cost of their health care.

The report, from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, showed people who were obese had joint replacement surgery at three times the rate of people with a healthy body weight. People who were overweight were twice as likely to undergo joint replacement as individuals with a healthy weight.

"Essentially when you connect the dots, the reality is we have a choice here. Either we're going to, as a nation, take some weight off or we're going to have a lot more hip and knee replacements," Michael Decter, head of the Health Council of Canada, said when asked to comment on the report.

"How would you rather spend our national health budget 10 years from now or 20 years from now?" he continued. "Would you like to spend it on a doubling of the number of hip and knee replacements? Or would you like to spend some money (now) to prevent that ramp up (in costs)?"
Further erosion of individual liberties are here justified in the name of more collective freedom, which means more loot and power for those with government sanction at the expense of the individuals comprising the collective they profess to protect and serve.

While it is likely true that fat people have more hip and knee problems, the forced monopoly of health care makes it every taxpayers' problem. If people had to pay for their own costs, via insurance or direct payment for services rendered, those that engaged in riskier behaviour would pay for the cost of their own habits and yes, their misfortunes too. The alternative to this is forcing people to change their personal habits against their will.

Move over smoker - Bertha is sharing your bed now.
Decter said the data show it’s time for an assault on the obesity problem similar to the successful campaigns that dramatically cut smoking rates in this country.

“It’s very clear now that we need a similar kind of effort—I guess an effort that we haven’t really made since the old ‘Participaction’ days—to sort of say: If we don’t want another two decades of ramp [up] in total hip and knee joint replacements, we have to, as a nation, do something to, I guess whatever the opposite of ‘supersize’ ourselves is, to take some weight off and be healthier.”
Next up: Government issued refrigerators with a scale attached. The occupant of the complex must step on the scale in order to receive their daily ration of food. If the citizen weighs in over the government decreed maximum healthy weight, the fridge remains sealed and the unhappy obese person is deprived of their ration until such time as they weigh in at a socially acceptable weight.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Chris Bentley, proud London socialist

According to the London Free Press, the Ontario government has found another use for your money and is reinstituting post-secondary grants for up to $3,000 to about 16,000 low-income students. Chris Bentley, London West MPP and Colleges and Universities Minister, is positively smug about the redistribution:

"Let's be clear — that's not a loan, that's a grant," Bentley said at a news conference at the University of Toronto. "We're back in the grants business."
… which is another way of saying, "we're diversifying our crime portfolio." As a student myself who has about $25,000 in student debt and is going to be nicked for a lot of taxes next spring and every spring after, Bentley's audacious appropriation and redistribution is going to make it more difficult for me to pay off my own debt, which was incurred without duress much like everyone else who attends university without immediate financial means. With the already substantial subsidization of post-secondary education and the availability of loans, both public and private, low income is not a deterrent to pursuing higher education except in the minds of those who allow it to be an obstacle and of poverty activists, attested to by the droves of students already borrowing to avail themselves of the opportunity.

The Canadian Federation of Students offered their tepid endorsement of the grant plan as an initial step forward, to more radical redistribution it must be supposed. Of course, they won't be sated until every suckling CTF pup has dried up the teats of taxpayers' indifference.

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It just feels right!

Sean of PolSpy links to an article from last week that claims 72 per cent of Canadians support having video cameras installed in all public places, presumably a response to potential terrorist attacks. The results are based on a poll by The Strategic Counsel, a "dedicated team of market-research professionals" that have worked on other governmental friendly studies like "Helping a television network understand the landscape of Canadian women", "Conducting in-depth audience research for a leading North American center for the performing arts" and "Launching a new public-policy initiative".

While there isn't a strong civil libertarian tradition in this country, "Canadians have always had a sense of fair play and the right thing," Allan Gregg, chairman of The Strategic Counsel, told on Wednesday.

"They do draw at least a faint line in the sand on some measures that do touch on those two things: Rule of law and prosecution of the prospectively innocent." At the same time, "they aren't particularly concerned about their own privacy," he said.

Gregg added that over the years, his company has found that Canadians have consistently said good people have nothing to fear from state surveillance.
So law-abiding citizens, I guess you won't mind if the statists install cameras in your home next year - after all, if you aren't doing anything illegal, how could you possibly object?
If a housewife has the corners of her cupboards clean, and last night's dishes washed, there is no great trouble in the letting police "look through" any more than prospective buyers or inspectors from the gas company.

Emily Murphy, The Black Candle

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A primer on Drug War panic for morons in journalism

Via Colby Cosh:


# promotes drowsiness or lassitude: you can frighten people about it by warning that legalizing it will create impaired drivers, impaired pilots, impaired helmsmen of Viking ships, etc.

# prevents drowsiness or lassitude: you can frighten people about it by warning that prolonged use induces lack of sleep and hence psychosis.

# is expensive: you can frighten people about it by arguing that the crippling costs of addiction ruin human lives.

# is cheap: you can frighten people about it by emphasizing its "availability" to the young and the impoverished.


# occurs in nature: you can frighten people about it by warning that manufacturers will steal energy from neighbours and utility companies to grow it.

# must be synthesized chemically: you can frighten people about it by talking about the poisons, waste products, and/or dodgy thermodynamics involved.

# is easy to make: you can frighten people into believing that their neighbours might secretly have a truckload of it in their basement.

# is difficult to make: you can frighten people about it by warning them that only organized crime is sophisticated enough to organize its production. (N.B.: the same product can simultaneously be described as easy and difficult to make if the general public doesn't know any better.)


# can be made readily in your home country: oh shit, it's turning our kids into drug manufacturers!

# must be imported from a different climate: oh shit, look at all these evil foreigners who are profiting from our misery and boredom!

# is used chiefly by the well-to-do: you can frighten people about it by describing it as "trendy" and pointing to celebrity lives ruined by it.

# is used chiefly by lower-class scum: you can frighten people about it by merely pointing in the general direction of said lower-class scum. (Hint: phrases like "poor man's cocaine" come in handy here.)

# is often used as an ingredient in, or companion to, other drugs: you can frighten people about it by talking about all the other bad stuff users are taking.

# is never used as an ingredient in, or companion to, other drugs: you still have the option of describing it as a "gateway" leading to worse substances (don't worry about contradicting yourself by admitting tacitly, for the moment, that there are worse substances).
HT: Little Tobacco

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Reductio ad politicum

Notwithstanding my real indifference to the question of Michaelle Jean's murky allegiances in the position of Governor General — the indistinction and equivocation on the subject seem to be a fitting tribute to Liberal governance — I did note with interest Jean's appropriation of Paul Martin speech peccadilloes today in the National Post:

Let me be clear: we have never belonged to a political party or the separatist movement[,]
the iteration of "let me be clear" in Canadian political idiom suggesting a proportionately inverse qualification of the amount of useful information to be conveyed in the subsequent disclaimer. Thanks for answering the q. abbrev.

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London, Ontario — pretty and cheap…

… which is convenient, because that's how former U.S. president Bill Clinton likes 'em. The London Free Press:

The 42nd U.S. president will deliver the keynote speech at the first Canadian-American relations conference Oct. 17 at London's John Labatt Centre.

A day later, Clinton will speak in Toronto, where tickets are priced from $329 to $995.

Clinton events are usually $400-a-plate, black-tie affairs, London conference organizer Andy McCreath said yesterday. The JLC tickets […] range from $86.25 to $100.25.

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It's raining small, khaki-green cubes of fat and wax in London

Children soon to be at risk in London Ontario - the overseers of the region justify these droppings with reference to protecting the population against a rare threat. It has a lot to do with hockey and the memorial cup too - Londoners will never live that victory down.
Hundreds of thousands of vaccine-laced baits will be dropped over a wide area of rural Southwestern Ontario this fall, part of a provincial effort to control rabies.

The 465,000 vaccine baits -- small, khaki-green cubes of fat and wax -- will be dropped from Ministry of Natural Resources aircraft starting in the third week in September.

The baits control rabies in Southwestern Ontario's prolific red fox population and stop the spread of the potentially deadly disease.


Ontario was once known as North America's rabies capital because of the large number of rabid animals reported.

But since 1994, when the bait program began in the region, the incidence of fox rabies has fallen 95 per cent, said Peter Bachmann, a senior technician with the ministry's rabies unit.


The last human case of rabies in Ontario was in 1967 in Ottawa, but the danger of new cases persists.
So why isn't the Ministry targeting city hall with those transfat rabies cubes?

I've been away. I haven't been reading the news. Clearly this has to do with salivary cotinine concentration.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The diluted pedigree of Liberal prime ministers

Let me tell you, my fellow country men, that the twentieth century shall be the century of Canada and of the Canadian development. For the next seventy-five years, nay for the next 100 years, Canada shall be the star towards which all men who love progress and freedom shall come.
— Wilfrid Laurier, October 15, 1904.
He was right, of course, for a while, but optimistic in his projection. Now the progress and freedom of which he spoke can only be counted as a relative thing, much less an absolute.

How far Liberal Prime Ministers have fallen in the credibility of their rhetoric. It is hard to imagine a speech like that made by Paul Martin being greeted by anything other than bland cynicism or bored indifference, such as when he attempts to declaim, mainly in phrases rather than sentences:
I believe the moment is here to make Canada the standard by which other nations judge themselves. […] A nation whose goal is unequivocal – and that is to lead the world, to set the pace, to build from this revolution’s promise an even greater prosperity. To create a country where our people feel that there is nowhere else they would rather be than here, because there is no place else where they can achieve so much.
— Paul Martin, June 12, 2001.
Rather, my ears are still ringing from hearing him speak in my head.

[Laurier quote via Canuck for Liberty]

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Friday, August 12, 2005

The Multi cult

FR's Travis McGee appends the following diptych to this great Steyn piece on the question of whether other cultures have anything to teach the English about running a government.

By pretending that all cultures are equal, multiculturalism doesn’t ‘preserve’ traditional cultures so much as sustain them in an artificial state that ensures they’ll develop bizarre pathologies and mutate into some freakish hybrid of the worst of both worlds.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005


According to the London Free Press, mayor Anne Marie DeCicco has again scotched any plans to run for the Liberal Party in the federal riding of London-Fanshawe and will instead seek a third term as head of the city council. It will have to remain a mystery for the time being whether such a move would have had any net impact on the ineffectuality or intellectual sum of either organization.

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A City That Competes Is A Competitive City

I figured there'd be some London talk on this Something Awful thread Colby Cosh pointed out.

Stimulus: London Ont...cleanest, neatest most orderly city in Canada.

Response: Are there two Londons in Ontario? I think I'd like to go to the one you've been to rather than the run-down, filthy, sprawling one I grew up near.

Stimulus: ... Last time I was there was to work at a BNL concert at Centennial Hall, and from what I could see the area was quite clean and neat, all the streets laid out in a boring and orderly grid pattern.

Response: London ... is a glorified ugly fucking truck stop. I hate that place. I've been there SO many times, and it ALWAYS sucks. It's not so much neat and orderly as it is souless and dull.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Me today, you tomorrow"

I don't know what the problem is here -- if you're in favour of extraditing Marc Emery. The Chinese have decided that Falun Gong is not to be tolerated, and have passed laws to that effect.

To paraphrase the Globe and Mail, "if she'd been a bloodthirsty Islamist plotting suicide bombings, you'd all be screaming to get her out of the country."

Now, I have grounds to say that this is an injustice, but those who want to destroy Marc Emery for witchcraft, or conspiracy to hold a black mass, or whatever it is they're charging him with, should be happy this "criminal" is going to "get what's coming to her".

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Tuesday, August 9, 2005

The banality of policy

Sitting amidst the relative economic security of the poppy-spangled fields of Ontario universities, two academics have concluded that the problem with Canada's climage change strategy is that it doesn't hurt enough. The Toronto Star's Carol Goar gives Douglas Macdonald of UT's Centre for Environment and Debora VanNijnatten of WLU a free pass:

"What is needed is nothing less than an energy revolution," Macdonald says. "There is a need for a policy that will inflict pain."

[…] "Citizens will pay a price for policies they believe to be necessary," he says. [… T]hey need clear limits, backed up by sanctions that hurt, to change their behaviour.
Those revolutionary five-year plans will never work as long as citizens believe they govern themselves — they must believe in the plan!

However, if a plan to reduce Canadians to a grinding economic recession fails in its efforts to meet Canada's emissions quota, I'm sure separation by Alberta should do the trick.

HT: Canadian Taxpayers Federation blog

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Take that, Atlantic Canada!

London recruited two new doctors, who will be coming to us from our rivals in Atlantic Canada. Fortunately, Atlantic Canada is far away, so we do not need to care about the people who will get sicker and die faster way out there without these doctors. Tough. Caring is a cutthroat business.

But despite our joyous victory over the sick and elderly poor schlubs of Atlantic Canada, things do seem to have gotten almost 50% worse here in the last 24 hours -- yesterday, it was "more than 20,000 Londoners" without doctors. What's the count today?

Recruited from Atlantic Canada, the two are expected to handle 1,500 patients each, taking only a small bite out of the more than 30,000 Londoners with no family doctor.
30,000, now? Why isn't that the story?

I wonder what the real number is.
Even before city brass announced London had landed two family doctors yesterday, hundreds of people were snapping up forms to apply to become their patients.
Strap on your speed dial and get those bottles of wine ready as return favours for your contacts in city hall. Now that the doctors are coming, Londoner, it is up to you to make sure your neighbour doesn't get ahead of you in the queue for their services.

Now is the time to use all the connections and energy you have to benefit yourself above the less fortunate and skilled. You may not get another chance for a while -- and who knows what kind of health problems might come up in your own life before London manages to poach another doctor from poor people thousands of miles away? Do not fool around, or some stranger might be the one that lives instead of you.

Fortunately, the truly ill and needy are often quite slow-moving and are at a disadvantage in the Darwinian struggle of all against all, improving chances for the rest of us. Say it with me. "You gotta look out for number one." Now say it louder! Don't look back! Press on!

There's only one tier, and it's just going to keep shrinking. Don't be the one who gets pushed off its edge!

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Monday, August 8, 2005

We must not extradite Marc

Marco den Ouden:

Emery is a brilliant man, a superb speaker, a dynamic entrepreneur and a committed activist for the promotion of freedom. With his smarts he could have made a million dollars in any endeavour he set his mind to. But he chose marijuana activism because he saw it as focal point for all that is wrong with government - the nanny state that professes to know better than you do what is good for you.
den Ouden then asks whether we would have extradited the Seagrams back when the American law enforcement industy was cashing in on alcohol prohibition. That was back before the repeal of the 18th amendment made it necessary to change focus to non-alcoholic intoxicants, so as to save the phony baloney jobs of the Eliot Ness'.

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Eat or be eaten

You can have a doctor -- but only if you are willing to take him away from somebody else.

Under the Adopt-a-Doc program, family doctors agreeing to practise in London can receive as much as $20,000 in financial incentives.

Middlesex County administrator Bill Rayburn has already warned London's Adopt-a-Doc program could escalate the bidding war among Ontario municipalities desperate for doctors.
Socialism, of which our health care system is a prime example, tries to ignore the existence of the economic problem itself. Designing a system founded on a wishing-away of the fact of scarcity is as crazy as building a space shuttle without attention to thermodynamics.

Unfortunately for humanity, the consequences take longer to shake themselves out in the former case, so the lessons are obscured. Worse, there is an endless line of hucksters interested in obscuring these lessons with promises of FREE STUFF, if you'll only give them a monopoly over this or that commodity.

But there is no escaping reality in the economic realm, any more than in the physical one.

And so -- as the scarce resources run out because the mad dream of socialism prevented the price system from encouraging prudent planning for tomorrow -- we must all resort to fucking each other over to get our slice of the ever-diminishing pie.

I must push the sick old man out of the way to get on the patient list of one of those scarce family doctors before he can. That's just the way it is. And London can bring the doctors in by enticing them away from poorer, needy areas. Too bad for the rest of you.

Compassion is red in tooth and claw.

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Waking up from the dream

Kate SDA points out commentary by Wretchard on Nick Cohen's Guardian piece on Cohen's leaving the Church of the Left. In Cohen's case his heresy was over yet another ongoing re-peat of the characteristic leftist habit of sympathizing with mass killers of foreigners -- so long as the killers redeem themselves by also wanting to kill the Leftists' countrymen in the name of some ideology that's sufficiently hostile to Western civilization.

As usual with Belmont Club the comments are often as thought-provoking as the posts themselves.

The classic quote, " some association of morons intent on carrying out a function whose purpose no one can remember."

And that is exactly what it is. Because what is Left buys the image, without the substance. I look around the city where I live and see 99% percent Leftist by default. But most would be hard pressed to articulate a single principle, much less a consistent philosophical position.

However, I would argue that there is a violent core congealing as better people like Mr. Cohen peel away. What is being Left is a maniacal body of nonsensical hooligans devoid of purpose and fermented on self-loathing. I submitted in a previous post of my own, what is being Left abandoned rational philosophy as the first rite of their descent from the pinnacle of human hegemony. With an objective standard eliminated, next came morals, then logic, science, art, religion, being, identity, and finally decency. With no foundation of individual respect, force and violence remain as the single mechanism of human interaction. Cooperation is nothing more than a surrender to primal fear in the face of power ... in the absense of a conscious and resolute will to exist. And that ultimately is the last thing to be surrendered. Because what is being Left devoured its soul when it embraced the self-loathing prerequisite of nihilism.

Hence what is being Left concentrates its sole damnation on its own Right hand for daring to pull Man back to his feet to face the Devil that pushed him down.
Steyn has a recent piece on a similar theme.

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Do bureaucrats dream of android sheep?

From the Kill-joy Division at the EU as reported in the Telegraph:

Under the EU's Optical Radiation Directive, employers of staff who work outdoors, including those in Bavaria's beer gardens, must ensure they cover up against the risk of sunburn.

Bavarian bar keepers have been told that the dirndl, generally rather revealing, will have to be replaced as it offers no protection against what the directive calls "natural sources of radiation", meaning sunlight.
Wouldn't a slathering of sunscreen to the cleavage suffice, in the proper dosage in the prescribed manner of caressing application administered by the ardent hands of civil servants of course? Unfortunately, the EU will at some time need to address its neglect of rosy sunkissed cheeks and institute the chadora as the uniform of men and women across Europe.

It turns out Christians are no match for the anxiously erotically-minded and protective arms of the state when it comes to taking the temporal fun out of life, at least in the encompass of their reach. From the Winnipeg Sun:
The youth wing of the Quebec provincial Liberals is asking Jean Charest's government to encourage schools to adopt a dress code banning offensive or sexually suggestive clothing.

[…] The proposition […] sparked debate about the hyper-sexuality of some teenagers who wear such items as g-strings to school.
Now, how are the boys supposed to concentrate on their schoolwork with all those chadoras sitting around?

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